Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 4: Nutrition and Food Service

4.3 Requirements for Special Groups or Ages of Children

4.3.1 Nutrition for Infants Feeding Age-Appropriate Solid Foods to Infants

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 05/31/2018.

Caregivers/teachers should thoroughly wash hands prior to serving any foods to infants/children. All jars of baby food should be washed with soap and warm water and rinsed with clean, running warm water before opening. All commercially packaged baby food should be served from a dish and spoon, not directly from a factory-sealed container or jar (1). A dish should be cleaned and sanitized before use to reduce the likelihood of surface contamination.

Age-appropriate solid food should not be fed in a bottle or an infant feeder unless doing so is written in the child’s care plan by the child’s primary health care provider. Caregivers/teachers should ensure that there are no food safety recalls (2), and examine the food carefully when removing it from the jar to make sure there are no glass pieces or foreign objects in the food. Caregivers/teachers should discard uneaten food left in dishes from which they have fed a child because it may contain potentially harmful bacteria from the infant’s saliva (3). If left out, all food should be discarded after 2 hours (4). The portion of the food that is touched by a utensil should be consumed or discarded.

Any food brought from home should not be served to other children. This will prevent cross contamination and reinforce the policy that food sent to the facility is for the designated child only.

Food should not be shared among children using the same dish or spoon.

Unused portions in opened factory-sealed baby food containers or food brought in containers prepared at home should be stored in the refrigerator and discarded if not consumed after 24 hours of storage. Prior to refrigeration, the opened container or jar should be labeled with the child’s full name and the date and time the food container was opened.



Feeding of age-appropriate solid foods in a bottle to a child is often associated with premature feeding (ie, when the infant is not developmentally ready for solid foods) (5,6).

The external surface of a commercial container or jar may be contaminated with disease-causing microorganisms during shipment or storage and may contaminate the food product during removal of food for placement in the child’s serving dish.


Center, Early Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Introduction of Age-Appropriate Solid Foods to Infants
  1. Lester J. Nutrition 411: introducing solid foods. Promise powered by Nemours Children’s Health System Web site. Published February 22, 2016. Accessed January 11, 2018

  2. US Department of Agriculture. Food Safety and Inspection Service Web site. Accessed January 11, 2018

  3. US Department of Health and Human Services. Baby food and infant formula. Web site. Accessed January 11, 2018

  4. US Department of Health and Human Services, US Food and Drug Administration. Food safety for moms to be: once baby arrives.>. Updated November 8, 2017. Accessed January 11, 2018

  5. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research. Feeding Guidelines for Infants and Young Toddlers: A Responsive Parenting Approach. Guidelines for Health Professionals. Published February 2017. Accessed January 11, 2018

  6. US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. Feeding Infants: A Guide for Use in the Child Nutrition Programs. Publication FNS-258. Alexandria, VA: US Department of Agriculture; 2017. Accessed January 11, 2018


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 05/31/2018.